IT Open Meeting August 2023 | Your questions answered

The IT Executive Team answered questions put to them by staff from across the University.

View the recording for the meeting.

The questions are divided into the following sections: 


Can you give an update on the project plan for the Documentum and M/N drive migration?  

The Documentum discovery scans have now been completed and we are in a review stage. We have a high level migration plan from our supplier, Proventeq, and have a more detailed plan soon. We have not agreed the timescales for the migration work yet, but we expect it to be in the first half of next year, and will be communicating to Documentum users when we have more details.  

We are in the discovery phase for the M and N drive migration now, and the first phase of scanning has been completed. The second phase is due to finish next week (week beginning 21 August 2023), we will receive the report from Proventeq four to six weeks after that has been completed. The purpose of the scan is to find out what type of documents we have on the M and N drives and more information about them, eg their owners, sizes etc. The Proventeq report will tell us what they think the migration plan should look like as we move files to SharePoint or OneDrive.  

We are aware that there are a number of applications and file types that will not work in SharePoint or OneDrive, and we are starting to look at the best way to handle these and where to locate them. We will work through this with the business users. The results of the scans will help to inform this work.  

Will you just be copy and pasting existing N drives to SharePoint, this seems like it will take the problems with it (eg too many folder levels)? 

If files are being moved to SharePoint, the intention would be that we would reduce the number of folder levels to make things easier to find. However, we will not be looking at individual documents and saying that should not be migrated because, for example, of its age.  

However, please bear in mind that the GDPR project (General Data Protection Regulations) is looking at data on University systems to ensure that it meets the GDPR, and will be quarantining data which does not. Find out more about data quarantining on the IT website

What support will be provided to faculties and services?  

We will be offering support in a number of different ways, including knowledge base articles on the IT website, education and training on using OneDrive and SharePoint and ensuring the Service Desk are aware of all our work so they can redirect calls quickly to the appropriate team.  

Will there be the ability to save emails from Outlook to SharePoint quickly and easily eg by using something like 

At the moment we don’t know, this is the kind of thing that still needs to be determined. However, we are not planning to reduce the functionality that you currently have, but we will need to look at what the best solution is on the new systems.  

Teams voice – when will phase 2 (shared lines etc) be delivered?  

So far the Teams Voice project has migrated over 4,500 users to Teams Voice and removed or decommissioned 2,500 legacy handsets and lines across campus.   

Over the next four months we will be migrating hunt (shared) groups, shared office devices, lab phones, reception areas and other complex cases where there isn’t a common 1:1 relationship with the telephone line.   

Alongside this we are buying and delivering a new ACD (automatic call distribution) solution which will deliver call distribution services. We can’t do this directly through Teams, so we need a replacement service to sit alongside it.   

There is also another work stream focussed on the underlying infrastructure, such as decommissioning old servers and other equipment that needs to take place for this project to succeed.   

Finally, we are looking at how we’ll support our customers, maintain the system and ensure it’s secure, patched and up to date. And of course, ensuring the customer experience is excellent.   

All four of these streams are happening simultaneously and being coordinated by the project manager, Attila Rab.   

As you can imagine, removing a legacy telephony solution and replacing it with something based in the cloud is incredibly complex, not least because of the amount of supporting services and solutions that interact and depend on it.  I’m aware it’s been a project for a long time now, but I’m confident we have the right people and direction in place to keep the momentum up and we are looking to complete in Spring 2024, but I think you’ll see and feel a lot of the benefits before then.   

The Mailman mailing list service was retired and replaced with Microsoft distribution lists. We are still having issues with the replacement eg getting bounces, no digest function and staff complaining of spam and unable to remove themselves from lists. Are these issues being looked into?  

The mailing list service had reduced in popularity over the years and we could no longer justify the effort involved in maintaining it when so many of its features could be accessed in secure and modern alternatives. 

Bounces happen when email addresses that are members of a list no longer exist- list owners can remove these addresses if they are informed. 

A digest function is not available in M365 distribution groups. To help you manage emails we suggest you use mail filtering rules, for example to move all messages from a particular list to a folder. Highly active conversations may be better suited to Yammer or Teams.  

Users can remove themselves from voluntary groups by following the advice on the IT website 

How does the IT demand management function integrate with the same function in the Transformation Office?  

IT demand management is done in line with Transformation Office (TO) principles and a commitment that was made to ensure our strategic portfolio is always serviced. The IT Demand and Capacity team feed into a report on capacity that is produced by the TO resource team, which covers off any areas of risk - Dan Key (Capacity Planning and Resourcing Manager, TO) and Aled Gardner (Head of Prioritisation, Planning and Resourcing, IT) are working together to ensure we are meeting our commitments. 

As the TO matures, so the demand management process becomes repeatable and better understood. This informs some of the change work undertaken by IT. There are also strong demand pipelines for both IT viability and non-strategic projects from faculties / professional services teams. We currently manage that work by exception, ensuring all strategic and critical (e.g. response to immediate risk) work is prioritised. 

There is a paper due to go to OEG/UEG in September that proposes an improved method of managing demand, viewing capacity through a thematic lens and pragmatically recognising that there will always be non-strategic work which it will be imperative to complete. 

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Identity and Access Management (IDAM)

What happens if people change their name – will this be reflected everywhere now so that their old name is no longer used (deadnaming), and if not when will this issue be fixed?  

At the time of writing, we are not aware of any instances where the University are inappropriately processing incorrect identity data or deadnaming. If you believe there is a problem with your identity data, please contact us at

What changes do I need to be aware of? 

  • Improved name change processes – Introduced in Spring 2022, a new more straightforward form at is available for people wishing to change their name for any reason at the University. A dedicated Identity Change Analyst has been recruited to support more complex identity cases or those where there is a safety, data retention or data privacy concern and we have engaged third party suppliers in order to resolve technology limitations in third party systems. 
  • New IDAM solution – The introduction of the new Identity and Access Management (IDAM) platform will not change these new processes for anyone wishing to change their name or digital identity at the University, however it does introduce a number of other improvements, including: 
    • New username format – The new format includes four random digits and four random characters which are unrelated to any course of study or a person’s identifiable information. This significantly reduces the complexity of name changes and privacy risks allowing individuals to keep their username. 

    • Improved automation – The new IDAM platform greatly simplifies the way name and preferred names are handled. Currently name information is controlled in business systems (SAP for Staff and Banner for students) and manually in IT systems. The new platform uses name preferences set in SAP and Banner only reducing potential mismatches and significantly reducing the number of people needed to handle a name change. 

Future enhancements – Not all IT systems are directly linked to SAP, Banner or the new IDAM platform, mostly due to historic technical incompatibilities. The new IDAM team will continually integrate new and legacy applications wherever possible. There is a design principle that no new IT system can be introduced that doesn’t allow name information to be managed. 

What do I need to do differently? 

Nothing. No changes to the process will be introduced as a result of the new IDAM platform, so there is no need to do anything differently. If you wish to change your name or your digital identity data at the University of Leeds, please contact us using the form located here: Identity Management - Equality and Inclusion Unit ( 

Will the change to the new starters process cause any delays that could affect how quickly staff get their equipment eg laptops or have the right privileges   

We are very focussed on this change impact and actively working with our HR colleagues. IDAM (Identity and Access Management) should not delay ordering new equipment however there are some crucial and necessary changes that we must manage together: 

  • One of the major risks IDAM remediates is unauthorised access to University systems and data.  To give some idea of the scale of this problem, we have removed more than 150,000 unapproved accounts throughout the project to date. 

  • An active SAP record will become evidence that the appropriate checks have been performed and an individual is who they say they are and for example,  has the right to work at the University. 

  • The digital identity and user account will be automatically generated within 24 hours of the SAP record being entered with appropriate mandatory information.  The account is created in a secured state that allows the ordering of equipment and can be generated at any time before the start date, when the account is enabled and access provisioned. 

  • It is important that you provide the relevant new starter details to HR in a timely fashion which allows them to process the request within their SLAs.  We are working with HR to publish these. 

  • The project will be actively monitoring new joiners throughout September and will have processes in place to identify and mitigate identify bottlenecks or issues with the underlying process. 

  • For ordering equipment, in the event that the above can’t be achieved in the timescales required, it is possible (although not recommended) that you can order kit on behalf of an individual and change the owner once the username is created. 

  • In the future, we intend to further automate this process, including core equipment provisioning to further remove unnecessary manual processes.  

What about temporary engagement of our undergraduates on summer working/internships where they prefer to use their undergraduate email, rather than have another created purely due to a secondary or third SAP record? 

Following the IDAM launch, SAP records will now be consolidated (linked), so one human equals one digital identity. However, we will not immediately consolidate student and workforce, so if an individual studies with and works for the University, they will indeed have two identities created.  The new IDAM platform will enable rapid improvements in this area in the near future. 

Are we getting the Cyber Essentials certification for the University?  

We are looking at options and intend to create a business case to get funding for this. However, this is not currently a Transformation Office priority, and the initial investigation phase is being managed alongside existing business as usual cyber security and compliance activities, which take priority.  If you can provide any support for the business case, for example showing the University is missing out on funding due to lack of certification, please contact Adam Toulson.  

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What is the timeframe for a new member of staff to receive a new laptop/desktop after making a request and do new staff receive communication from IT about how to request a device prior to arriving?  

The length of time to receive equipment depends on the equipment that has been ordered, and higher spec equipment can take longer to arrive. We are doing work around this, called the tiered device support policy. At the moment it is taking a minimum of four weeks to get equipment delivered and shipped out. With the tiered device service we will work with a partner who can warehouse equipment for us, so we don’t have to store and build it on campus, and our aim then would be to supply it in 48 hours (for standard desktop and laptops). High performance laptops, Macs and Linux machines will take a bit longer.  

We don’t send any communications out to new staff because at the moment we don’t know when they will be arriving, whether they will ‘inherit’ equipment, or what they need. There is a lot of work going on to change the process behind this and move to a model where someone will get a laptop, and when it is out of warranty it will automatically be replaced, and to make more efficient use of equipment across the University. At the moment we have to rely on the hiring managers to work with new staff to request their equipment. In future we will need input from them, as we won’t know what type of device they need, but we will hold stock of standard equipment so we can deliver it much quicker.  

What are future plans to support PGRs and temporary members of staff with loan laptops to support hybrid ways of working? 

This is not a simple area, as different faculties have different standards and policies on what is provided to PGRs, so it is much trickier than for staff. This is something we will look at in the next phase. We do know that a lot of laptops are bought out of grant funds and we would like to move away from individual ordering. If it is possible for PGRs to use standard equipment, then we can build this into the existing processes for quick delivery. It if is not standard, then it is unlikely we would keep it in stock.  

It is hard to find information on how to dispose or have IT equipment decommissioned other than return loan ticket or sending in a general request.  Is there room for another ticket or if there is one where? 

It is important that equipment is disposed of correctly as it will have corporate or confidential data which needs to be securely dealt with. By going through the right channels, we can provide certification that it has been disposed of correctly if required and ensure that it has been destroyed or properly wiped before being reused.  

If you have confidential information on any equipment (including USB or portable drives), please contact the cyber security team (using the standard request on homepage of the IT website – Submit a request) who will help you find the correct way to dispose of it.  

Will the residual value of equipment that is disposed of (eg of in-warrant laptops) be returned to schools and services? 

Generally, this value is minimal. We are looking to move to a situation where laptops are owned by the University rather than individual schools or services. So a returned laptop that was still in warranty would be given to another member of staff.  

At the moment, the small amount of money that IT do receive from equipment disposal is taken back into central University funds rather than remaining with IT.  

Will there be an update about the programme to replace IT equipment that's over five years old?  Will this be funded as was Win7? 

We are in the early stages of planning for the project to identify all Windows, Linux and Mac desktops and laptops which are out of warranty (OoW), and replace them with new devices, where required.  This will result in better user experience as there will be fewer device failures.  Users will have most up to date Operating Systems, and will also typically put users onto faster devices   

Learning from the lessons of the Windows Refresh project, we want to engage early with faculties and departments and plan the approach carefully.  For example, it is likely we will carry out a small pilot with the Faculty of Medicine and Health to test the approach.  Timescales for this pilot and the wider project are to be confirmed.  

Faculties and departments already have funding allocated for device refresh each year, so device replacement will be funded from there.  As the warranty refresh was not part of the DEBS business case, we are now looking at options to fund the project effort associated with this replacement project and, once confirmed, will revise our timescales 

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Why does it take so long to get help or get a response to IT tickets? 

We recognise that the speed of response at the moment is not acceptable, and I’m sorry for that. We are doing a lot of work in the background to address this.  

One of the key issues is that we are currently rebuilding our Service Desk team. We are pleased to announce that we have a new Service Desk manager who started on Monday 14 August, and they have a lot of experience of running a really high-performing service desk. It has taken time to recruit them as we wanted to make sure we had the right support structures in place for them, so they can build the right support for their team.  

As part of our IT operating model (ITOM) work, we have been doing some restructuring  and will be significantly increasing the size of Service Desk, from the low teens to around 30 people.  

We have been struggling recently due to a number of factors including the industrial action, which has meant there has been only a few Service Desk staff available on some days. We have also had a number of major projects, such as the Jadu migration and moving Banner into Azure which have generated more calls. Additionally we have found that where previously the volume of calls would decrease over summer, this year it hasn’t – we have had no peaks and troughs in the number of people contacting us, just continually high numbers.  

When the Service Desk queue builds up we can be in a situation where people chasing existing tickets generates more work, increasing the problem. So we are committing as many resources as we can to work through that initial triage stage and allocate calls to the right teams. We are trying to bring the response time down from a high of nine days to hours.  

We are also encouraging people to use things like our knowledge base more frequently – between a quarter and a half of all queries can be resolved using the information on  

Another thing that has hit Service Desk, but in a positive way, is that we have seen staff move on internally to new roles. We are now putting in a request for a few extra Service Desk roles to allow for this, so that Service Desk can be seen as an entry point into IT and the University.  

In summary, we are aware there is a problem and that service is not good enough, but are taking concrete steps to resolve this, particularly through additional recruitment.  

Is there any more news on having support staff in faculties, which was previously mentioned as part of the new IT operating model (ITOM)? 

We are planning to pilot one of our local field services teams within a faculty in the next couple of months, and we hope to have all the teams in place during the next academic year.  

These teams will be located in the faculty or service, so they can build relationships and understand the local environment better,  and their work will be split between the standard IT support work and looking at small changes work, things that need to happen differently in a faculty. The latter will primarily be in the research space, where people might need something that isn’t quite standard.  We want to make sure that work is prioritised within the faculty or service and will be working with Faculty Operations Directors and business managers.  

These teams will still work to one set of standards across the University rather than having different ways of doing things in different faculties or services.  

When will we have IT support with meeting room equipment to support hybrid meetings?  

This isn’t something that IT will be supporting, rather it is managed by Facilities Directorate. We have been working closely with them and Central Teaching Space (CTS) on a pilot which has been running over the last six months. This has involved 10 meeting rooms, and they are now looking at moving this into a service, and are currently looking to add another 20-30 rooms to the project distributed across the University. IT will be helping them equip those rooms, but support for the rooms will sit with CTS who have their own rapid response teams who can attend if there is a problem. When we have more details of this we will publish it on our website. In the meantime, please contact your Business Relationship Manager if you have a room you would like to be included.  

How are requests submitted via self-service prioritised, for example where a request is part of a regulatory requirement or affects a lot of students? 

The flags within ServiceNow (our ticketing system) are driven by the boxes you check when submitting it – is it preventing you working and is it affecting an individual or a group. We know we have work to do to ensure that requests that are put in are prioritised accordingly, but we recommend if it is affecting a lot of people, you should call Service Desk either to log it, or once you have logged it through the website to let them know. At the moment, because of the backlog, we are looking at around five days before calls in the triage queue are looked at, so please do call.

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Other questions

How can staff outside IT find out about IT’s organisational structure and future changes?  

There is an overview of the IT Operating Model (ITOM) on the For Staff site. When we are making changes, we must talk to the affected members of staff first, but once we have done this and been through the right University committees we will share it with you.  

The structure is just one element of the ITOM, which also includes investment, new ways of working (for example using Agile) and new technology. 

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